ProjectsMountainsMountain BirdwatchData Use Policy

Policy on the Release, Use and Publication of Data


It is the Mountain Birdwatch (MBW) policy to encourage the publication of important research findings based on MBW data, and to encourage the use of MBW data by land management authorities, planners, naturalists, and others. It is also the MBW policy that appropriate credit be given to the Vermont Center for Ecostudies (VCE) and cooperating organizations for their contributions to the publication of such findings based on MBW data.

Disclaimer: It is important to note that the data in the database are provisional and have not necessarily been reviewed or approved. For information concerning the accuracy and appropriate uses of these data, contact the MBW coordinator.

Accessing Data: MBW data alone should not form the main basis of a scientific publication, unless a formal data request is completed, as described below. Interpretation of this is at the discretion of VCE. MBW data can be accessed in two ways: 1) Data summaries from the MBW web page: The MBW web page facilitates summarizing data. Summaries or maps generated from the web page may be printed or otherwise used for personal use, or for inclusion in reports or articles, whether published or not, without further restriction or permission, provided that: – due caution is taken regarding the limitations of the data; – appropriate credit is given to MBW (see below); – the raw data are not directly distributed to third parties (who should get them from the web page); – Mountain Birdwatch data alone do not form the primary basis of a scientific publication (see above). 2) Other data Other forms of MBW data not available from the web page can be requested as follows: Summaries, analyses, or large volumes of MBW data Requests for summaries, analyses, or large volumes of MBW data (i.e., other than those available from the web page) should be sent to the VCE office using the MBW Data Release and Request Form and Publication Agreement. Names of people who collected Mountain Birdwatch data will not normally be provided.

Acknowledgements: Researchers/authors using Mountain Birdwatch data agree to use the following acknowledgement: “Thanks to the Vermont Center for Ecostudies for supplying data and to the hundreds of Mountain Birdwatch volunteers who gathered data for the project.” Review of manuscripts (or parts thereof) by VCE staff before submission to scientific journals is requested as a courtesy.

Authorship: Persons planning a scientific publication using Mountain Birdwatch data not obtained through the Mountain Birdwatch web page agree to discuss the project and authorship with MBW before they begin work on the manuscript. This will help avoid misunderstandings about commitments and authorship and about any restrictions that may be imposed. The concern is that all involved in the original project and in the preparation of the manuscript for publication be treated fairly. If a request for data includes proposed research requiring significant support from MBW, then agreement on the role of involved staff, joint authorship, and order of authors must be reached before the data are released. In cases of conflict over authorship or order of authorship at any time, each party may present written arguments (maximum of 2 typed pages) to MBW. Determination of authors and sequence of authors will be evaluated on contributions in each of the five basic areas of the research investigation: conception, design, data collection, data analysis, and manuscript preparation, and the parties agree that their decision is final.

Fee for Data: A fee of $50/hour, with a minimum of $200, will normally be charged to extract and assemble data, but consideration can be given to waiving this fee for institutional clients and not-for-profit researchers/authors. All decisions concerning fees rest with VCE. Fees (if any) will be clearly stated on the Data Release and Request Form and Publication Agreement.

Page Charges and Reprints: Page charges and reprint costs are the responsibility of the author(s). We request that 5 copies of reprints be submitted to VCE.

Copyright: VCE retains the copyright on all data provided to researchers/authors, unless the copyright has been legally transferred to a client.

Revocation of Privileges: Any researcher/author not abiding by this policy or the terms of the Data Release and Request Form and Publication Agreement may forfeit any future access to Mountain Birdwatch data.

Requests for data can be made to:
Vermont Center for Ecostudies
Mountain Birdwatch
PO Box 420
Norwich, VT 05055
mail the MBW Project Director